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Been Here All Along

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Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee and having his choice of colleges. They do not include falling head over heels for his best friend and next-door neighbour, Kyle. It's a distraction. It's pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn't know what to do . . .

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can't quite figure out what he did wrong . . .

224 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 30, 2016

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Sandy Hall

6 books662 followers

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5 stars
1,197 (17%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,100 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
June 1, 2016
3.5 stars This is a very very light romance between a boy named Gideon who realizes he's in love with his bi best friend Kyle, complicated by the fact that Kyle already has a girlfriend. I may be being a trifle generous in rounding up the star ratings, but the book is very cute, like all of Sandy Hall's books, and it's something I'd probably hand to younger readers in the YA spectrum. (It honestly feels very middle grade in many ways, particularly in the straightforward language and tone.) It's great to have lgbtqi romances that aren't angsty and "issue" books, too.

But the book is very short, and I think the characters and relationships could be more complex, even though the author does a good job with the central plot and keeping the four POVs distinct. Her narrative voice and stories are so charming, however, that I'd love to see what she could do at another imprint , with a more fully developed story. There's feeling and sweetness and connection in all her books thus far, but they just haven't quite broken out into the completely-and-utterly-amazing category yet--and I think they could.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
October 26, 2018
“Hey,” I say, trying to stand up causally and failing. I get all tangled up in the afghan and almost fall over the coffee table. “I am perfectly fine and totally normal.”

Been Here All Along is an adorable romance between two next-door neighbors who have been friends for forever. It is cute. It is gay. And I read it really quickly despite my reading slump.

Merits of this book include:
→it’s best friends to lovers
→the outgoing one and the sort of shy one
→the title references a fucking Taylor Swift song
→I never talk about this because it’s basic, but Taylor Swift is my #1 ride or die female artist and I know the full lyrics to every one of her songs, and just as soon as someone publishes a sapphic romance that incorporates the lyrics to Mine, I’ll be set for life
→the Lord of the Rings references made me so happy, I’m sorry I grew up on those movies too
→it’s a romance, okay. I’m allowed to like it because it catered to my dumb interests
→one of the leads has dyslexia and it’s a major theme in the book
→non-shamed bi lead, and yes it uses the word
→no outing despite how much i was worried it would go that direction
→all of the main characters are very self-aware and I enjoy that sometimes it’s nice not to read about emotional constipation
→Ezra the big brother
→Ruby the girlfriend
→general narrative agency given to every character which, as you All Know, is my thing
→very much an undercurrent of forgiving mistakes but still calling people on their shit and Wow. do you see me crying

My main problem with this is that the miscommunication trope... could have been put to better use. I’m sorry, I know this was written in 2012? But seriously?

All that being said, I liked it a lot. I just needed a quiet contemporary romance for today so this was good.

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Profile Image for prag ♻.
586 reviews583 followers
May 25, 2021
was in the mood for something light and fun and my brain said hey it's 00:30 we should reread this random contemporary that you know will make you cringe and i said okay
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
May 20, 2018
I'd rate this 3.5 stars.

This was a sweet, heartwarming book I read in about 90 minutes. (File me under "People with no plans on Friday night.")

Gideon is smart, organized to a fault, always on time, and always is planning his next steps, which include running for class president and getting into a good college. His best friend Kyle is, in many ways, his complete opposite—the star basketball player, who doesn't like to read (or really even think about college), who's never on time for anything and is always a bit disorganized. But since the two have been friends since they were five, they share a lot, including a love for all things related to Lord of the Rings . (They even speak and write in Elvish at times.)

Gideon is prepared for everything, except the realization that he's fallen in love with his best friend, who happens to be dating Ruby, the head cheerleader. He doesn't want to jeopardize their friendship, so he does everything to convince himself why a relationship with Kyle could never work. But the heart knows differently than the brain.

Kyle feels pretty happy with his relationship with Ruby and his friendship with Gideon. Until both of them start acting weirdly, and Kyle wants to figure out what he did wrong.

Sandy Hall's Been Here All Along is an enjoyable look at how the boundaries between friendship and love can get blurry at times, and how the head and the heart sometimes want different things. It's also a look at the roadblocks we put up to protect ourselves, as well as the stupid mistakes we make when we let our emotions guide us.

This is completely predictable but really sweet. And as I read this book, I once again realized how far we've come in young adult fiction, that books like this exist for LGBT youth who might believe that living their truth might leave them branded "abnormal" or dooming them to life alone. The characters in this book behave the way you'd hope people would (and, in many cases, the way people do), and the crises the characters face aren't the typical melodramatic ones of homophobia, violence, and parental rejection, but the crises that many couples, gay or straight, have faced. (There's even a scenario I remember seeing Ross and Rachel deal with on Friends .)

Kudos to Sandy Hall for creating a book that I hope many kids will read, so they realize that living the life they choose is not only possible, it's acceptable.

NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, and Swoon Reads provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for Nina.
747 reviews276 followers
September 16, 2017
This was such a quick read! I finished this book in one sitting and also enjoyed it. It's a really cute story with adorable characters! The only thing that really, really bothered me was that it was extremely predictable. After finishing the first 50 pages I already knew almost exactly what would happen during the rest of the book and how it would end.
Profile Image for Andreja.
311 reviews2 followers
February 5, 2022
2022 - After some thinking I'm taking away one star.

But I really wanted to kiss him. More than I've ever wanted to kiss anyone in my entire life.

Honestly, I didn't feel anything reading this book. It has a weird insta love. Gideon suddenly out of nowhere realises he is gay and in love with his best friend. After they have been friends for more that 10 years. The realisation is really weird, there is no build up. It made no sense. Kyle knows he is bi, so his side was a tiny bit more plausible. Just a tiny bit tho, he also out of nowhere develops feeling for Gideon. This book was poorly executed, no buildup, no tension whatsoever.
Profile Image for Carlos De Eguiluz.
226 reviews192 followers
May 7, 2017
Hasta cierto punto de mi lectura creí que todo, o al menos casi todo estaba mal.
Para empezar, el argumento: inexistente.
Los personajes: Planos y con poca personalidad.
La historia: Romántica, sí, pero me costó hacer click, ¿sí me entienden?
La trama: Good God, what can I tell you about that?
El desenlace: Rápido, no sentí la intensidad de una buena resolución del problema.

Entonces Kyle es bisexual y tiene esta novia Ruby que está súper hermosa y la fregada; y a este amigo de toda la vida que se llama Gideon. Con él, habla del "Señor De Los Anillos", y a pesar de que son completamente distintos, son inseparables y todas esas cosas pastelosas. El caso es que las cosas comienzan a complicarse cuando Gideon cae en la realización de que es "Kyle-sexual" y escribe una serie de listas para entender lo que ocurre con él. Ruby, quien, a pesar de que trataron de disfrazarla de una blanca paloma toda la historia, encuentra las listas y trata, hasta cierto punto, de chantajear a Gideon.
Y, pues... no hay mucho más que contar, porque les podría arruinar el libro. Pero vamos, al final no hay mucho que arruinar. Desde que comienzas la historia sabes lo que va a ocurrir.

Entonces, Carlos, ¿por qué le diste tres estrellas?
Bueno, eso lo puedo contestar:
Para empezar, porque es literatura LGBT, y dude, tenemos que apoyar la literatura LGBT para que sea tomada aún más en cuenta.
En segundo lugar, porque me ayudó a comprender un poco más sobre la visión que tienen los judíos sobre los Bar Mitzvah y lo que respecta a la comunidad LGBT.
Ezra. Ezra es otro motivo. El sujeto es genial. ¿Por qué no es mi hermano?
En cuarto lugar, porque Gideon y Kyle son simplemente adorables. Deal with it.
Profile Image for Maria.
564 reviews354 followers
September 25, 2016

I’m sure you have all had the same experiences as me, where you’ve been reading heavy, dark and depressing books one after another before you realize you just need something light and fluffy to pick you back up. That was me recently. I noticed the heavy nature of the books I had recently read and decided that it needed to change. I needed something to make me feel happy and light and Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall was the perfect choice in terms of what I was looking for.

Gideon and Kyle have been next door neighbours and best friends for as long as they can remember. They tell each other everything, which is why Kyle came out to Gideon as bisexual not too long ago. Of course, Gideon is accepting and totally supportive of Kyle, especially when he starts dating the head cheerleader and most popular girl in school, Ruby. That is until he starts to experience a little feeling of jealousy. He is especially shocked when he realizes that he isn’t jealous that Kyle is with Ruby, he’s jealous of Ruby being with Kyle. Gideon tries to convince himself he couldn’t possibly have a crush on his best friend…or could he?

Been Here All Along is a super cute, light and fluffy read that I devoured in two sittings on my commute to and from the city one evening. I had just finished reading a few novels that were heavier in nature and I needed something quick and happy-go-lucky to give my brain a little bit of a break. I’m so glad I chose Been Here All Along as that book because it was exactly what I needed.

The characters were absolutely wonderful. I loved Kyle and Gideon, but I also low-key loved Ezra and I wish we got to see a little bit more of him throughout the story. He was the perfect older brother to Gideon and I really enjoyed every scene that he was in. I loved how well he knew his brother and how much he cared for him. Kyle and Gideon kind of remind me of me and my best friend/neighbour. We have known each other for 20+ years now, and while we definitely have not fallen in love with each other (sorry to disappoint you), we have a lot of similarities to Kyle and Gideon. My best friend is very outgoing, popular and social, I’m very introverted and I would much rather stay home and read on a Friday night then go out anywhere. Sometimes I think that if we hadn’t met each other at such a young age, we probably would never have become friends at all. I loved that Kyle and Gideon were so different from one another, but deep down, they had a few similarities that made them the best of friends.

At first, I thought I liked Ruby. She seemed accepting and friendly…and then that all went to shit…but then she redeemed herself. I wish we got to explore her troubles at home a little bit more. I think that could have helped with understanding her ups and downs and why she was so great one moment and then terrible the next.

I found that the conflict that arose within Been Here All Along was pretty obvious and I could see it coming from a mile away, but it worked as a good storytelling device. I don’t think it was particularly unique, but it definitely worked. I did like the way that the conflict was resolved though, and I’m happy that this ended happily.

Been Here All Along is perfect for those who want something quick, fast-paced, happy-go-lucky and fluffy. It was exactly what I needed to read and I’m so glad that I chose it!


Initial post reading thoughts:

Don't you hate when you finish your book before your evening commute is over? I powered through this one in two days in-between commuting and volunteer shifts at the Toronto International Film Festival! It was super cute and a really light, fast paced read.
Profile Image for BookLover.
385 reviews81 followers
February 7, 2017
“I have become a teen rom-com cliché. ”

This was a very cute story, with lots of witty inner monologues. Gideon and Kyle, next door neighbours, had been best friends since they were children. Things began to change as each were figuring out who they were and what their feelings for one another were. I bonded with both of these characters from the beginning.

Gideon’s relationship with his brother, Ezra was both amusing and touching.

“Our parents finally notice Gideon sitting on the couch, pouting like he’s about three years old and not getting enough attention at a family gathering.
“I thought you went to bed hours ago,” Mom says.
“I did. But you forgot to tie me down,” he mutters, crossing his arms.
I laugh. I can’t help it.”

I realize that both Ruby (Kyle's girlfriend) and Ezra were secondary characters and we got to see their points of view throughout the story to move the plot along, but I would have loved it if they had gotten more of a storyline since I really liked both of them. The limited view into their personalities made them come off a bit two-dimensional.

My enjoyment of the story was brought down slightly by the way the story was set-up in the beginning. I found my attention divided between enjoying the story unfold and waiting for the obviously placed time bomb to explode. I distracted me from fully investing in the story.
Profile Image for Janani(ஜனனி)⁷.
591 reviews232 followers
February 28, 2018
I was having mushy feelings when I read this book. I just wanted to cuddle those characters with all my being. They were so cute and innocent and even though I was a devil in disguise I couldn’t stop myself from feeling all the squeals. I had a full-time grin on my face during my phase of Been Here All Along. The feeling of being awestruck by an unexpected book was a bliss. I can’t fathom my feelings into the mere words about how much I adore this book. I’ll try though.
“I’m so happy it makes me want to hide, because I don’t know what to do with it all. I want to store it up and save it for winter.”
What would you do when you started to doubt about your feelings for someone? Make a list of Pros and Cons. But don’t try to hide that list under your bed because monsters are lurking there and you could say that the monsters have been in acquaintance with the technology. Because they will post the list and will make your life a living hell when everything was moving smoothly. A nice advice from Gideon: Don’t ever make such kind of list and if you did, burn the hell out of it immediately or else your ass will face the consequence.

My cuddle baby characters Kyle and Gideon were neighbors. They have been friends since childhood. The arguments of who being the real fan of Lord of Rings is enticing. Whether the one who read the books or the one who watched the movies? I have neither done those things. *walk of shame* Then suddenly out of the blue Gideon suddenly has these unstoppable thoughts. So what he did with it?
“He’s the one who said at the beginning of the marathon that Elijah Wood was cute and then later told me that I remind him of Elijah Wood. If that’s not a pickup line, then I have no idea what a pickup line is.”
I don’t know how to convince you guys to read this. But, if I could I would thrust this book in everyone’s hands to read this beautiful book.
Profile Image for Romie.
1,061 reviews1,272 followers
June 5, 2017
Where do I even begin ?
This review will have no spoilers and probably be really messy. You've been warned.

From day 1, I had a real connection with Kyle: he's introvert, bisexual, adorable, weird in a good way, a huge nerd and we love that about him. The struggles he has because of his sexuality, I understood them all, it made me feel less alone and so happy to finally have a bi character who has the same problems as mine, but is also confident in his sexuality. Okay he's bisexual, but so what ? If you have a problem with that, screw you. I loved that so much about him.

Gideon is less comfortable, this whole book is him coming to terms with who he really is, coming out to his friends, his family, finding love, making mistakes, and just being happy.
This book made me cry, there were moments I just couldn't stop my tears from running down my face. I am so emotional about these characters, I feel so connected to them. What they underwent... No one should be afraid to love, to be out, to be happy. No one. And this story... this story made me realize how much people can be horrible, they can be cruel, they can make someone feel miserable like no one did before. But people can also change for the better, they can themselves realize how bad they were and try to make things better from now on.

I love this book, and I will be forever grateful Sandy Hall wrote it. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I needed this book in my life.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,694 reviews702 followers
July 20, 2016
I saw the comparison to Simon Vs and that's pretty much the reason I requested it. I liked the premise and I adore the BFF to more plot line.

First off, the story is told in 4 POVs: Kyle, Gideon, Ruby {Kyle's gf}, and Ezra {Gideon's brother}. Sadly, only Ruby's POV sounded different and I think that was mainly because I hated her so much. There were several times that I had to go back to the beginning of a chapter to refresh my memory as to whose head we were in.

Kyle and Gideon are adorable. Ruby is seriously hateful and I spent the entire book hoping she would walk barefoot on some Legos. I did not feel bad for her or care about any growth she may have had. {Which in my opinion, was absolutely none.}

The plot is fairly predictable, but it was a cute and quick read.

**Huge thanks to Swoon Reads and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,332 followers
June 9, 2016
So freaking cute I did that thing where you kick your legs in the air because some scenes are just too adorable to be contained. Sandy Hall books always have the same pros and cons for me - pros being super cuteness and nice diversity representation, and cons being too many POVs and character development that suffers for it, but I'm firmly on the side of positivity here. The friends-to-lovers plotline is just so sweet, and I appreciate the clear effort taken not to make Ruby a one-dimensional villain and to establish the lines she'd never cross. Also on-page bi boy rep FTW!
Profile Image for Laura.
1,359 reviews202 followers
June 10, 2016

Warning: the word cute may make a few appearances in this review. :D

Sandy Hall’s Been Here All Along has all the right ingredients for a sweet, silly, romantic story. A sweet, eye-catching cover full of color, best friends, cute nicknames (Gid and Giddyup for Gideon) and a crushing on the boy next door romance. All that and more is simmering away. Ready to sweep me up into a bear hug of cuteness and cuddles with a capital C. Sadly that abundance of adorableness didn’t form any kind of emotional impact or whammy for me. Cute though. Can’t deny the cute!

Gideon and Kyle meet at age 5. Five! Next door neighbors and best friends who maybe—just maybe—want more. Short (Hey! He could still grow though. Hehe…), bookishly cute Gideon and his 6’3 basketball star BFF, Kyle are always together. Like magnets they seem to find each other and connect no matter what. They share time with ease and laughter. But when Kyle decides to come out to his girlfriend as bisexual, Gideon realizes how much Kyle means to him. He wants Kyle for himself, which terrifies him! These new feelings turn Gideon’s organized world upside down. Is he gay or just “Kyle-sexual”? Gideon is suddenly confused and afraid of losing his best friend. Soooo…. Gideon being the highly organized and logical Gideon that he is—makes a few lists. The pros and cons of Kyle. Which brings us to the big chemistry downer of the book for me. One particular list was very mean and ugly. I understand what Gid was attempting to do by compiling the lists—he was scared and trying to discourage his feelings for Kyle. BUT that list was harsh! I couldn’t get by it. It was hard for me to trust and like Gideon wholeheartedly after reading those words and thoughts. Words that can only cause hurt and trouble. And sure enough trouble pops in for a visit in the form of Kyle’s girlfriend, Ruby.

In classic Hall fashion, we hear multiple points of views throughout the book. A trait I adored in previous Hall works, but found myself questioning this visit. Why did I have to hear from Gideon’s brother, Ezra? Or Ruby? Their voices didn’t seem to fold into the action with humor or meaning. Plus I didn’t like either character all that much. Their shallowness cut into the cute factor big time! All that said though. The cuteness lived on! I mean what’s not to love about the boy of your dreams hopping over the fence to see you? :)

I liked A Little Something Different and LOVED Signs Point to Yes, so my hopes for this book were high, high, high. All the pieces are here for a gem—like that opener! Gah! Talk about a cute intro! In the end though, Gideon and Kyle pulled a smile across my face, but never made my toes tingle or heart flip. I’ll be right here waiting for the next Sandy Hall world for sure though. She’s an author I love to watch and root for.

I would (and will) still recommend this book without hesitation. It’s a light read that will make you smile. The Elvish alphabet, hand holding, blushing, and Disney dates alone make it worth a visit!

A quick, easy dose of cuteness.

**Read and reviewed ARC**
Profile Image for Brittany.
1,174 reviews277 followers
August 30, 2016
Sandy Hall's books never fail to be light, quick and cute. And Been Here All Along is no exception there. The added bonus is that it's a gay romance. A best friend to more romance at that.

What I liked; the heart of the story. Kyle being secure in his sexuality(he's bi), being out before the book even starts. Gideon realizing his feelings for Kyle and not freaking out; to him it just makes sense. Accepting families. Very present parents. And Kyle's and Gideon's best friendship to boyfriends is adorable.

Beyond that, a lot didn't work for me. For one, Hall's writing feels likes it's regressing. Maybe I'm remembering A Little Something Different wrong, but I don't recall it feeling so juvenile. Whereas Signs Point to Yes and Been Here All Along is extremely so. Add in how mechanical the dialogue is and all of that just fell so flat and one dimensional.

Been Here All Along has four POV's; Gideon, Kyle, Ezra(Gideon's older brother) and Ruby(Kyle's girlfriend). The voices were distinctive enough, it's just that there was no need for all four. Ezra's was totally unnecessary. He added nothing to the story except to observe and point out what the reader already knows about Gideon. Ruby's I guess makes sense. It's just no one is going to like being in her head. She's a vindictive, jealous mean girl. Ruby makes rash hurtful remarks and decisions, knows she's making them and then doesn't care. It's frustrating and annoying as hell.

So well the sweetness of Kyle and Gideon's relationship was great, the writing failed to get me excited. But in the end; and after two less than stellar books from Hall, I'll still be picking up her next release. So apparently okay, in the case, is good enough for me.
Profile Image for Stina.
148 reviews51 followers
September 8, 2017
Read this review on my rad blog: https://stinaslousyreviews.wordpress....

I can kick this off by saying that I rarely enjoy contemporaries and that I, in general, don’t like books that center around a romance (I prefer to have it prance around in the background, or even not walk around at all). But I asked for it. I asked for people to give me a short contemporary that I could fly through and forget within the next week. Both of which I technically got, but that sadly does not comfort me at all.

Because of the jaunty, carefree individual that I am, I’ll start off with some positive stuff.

Uh… Nothing? I guess I have one thing, which is that it has an EXPLICITLY mentioned bisexual character, which to this day is something that we see very little of. And there was no homophobia, which is also pretty refreshing. The latter, however, is going to also be mentioned in my list of problems later.

That’s it. That’s all I liked.

The only reason I didn’t give this one star is that… somewhere, deep inside by heart of stone, I felt bad for hating this. I don’t know why. I will unapologetically bash any book that comes in my way and never feel the need to apologize. But this just… it was so fucking inoffensive. It’s trying so hard to be sweet and easy-going, I just didn’t have the heart (ha) to give it one star.

It totally deserves one star, though.

OKAY. Time for all the stuff I didn’t like, namely almost everything.


I am so sick of this. How many times do I have to tell these YA authors that your interests/hobbies are NOT YOUR FUCKING PERSONALITY?????? Telling us that their favorite book/movie franchise is Lord Of The Rings does not give any depth to the characters. If anything, it adds a decorative bow to them. Liking Math, having dyslexia, enjoying reading, being gay, etc etc, IS NOT YOUR PERSONALITY. But this book acts as if that were not the case and that being a LOTR-nerd is totes a personality trait. As a direct result to this, of course, all the characters are flat and are all equally inoffensive and boring.

Second off, the pacing. Usually, contemporaries are pretty fast-paced. This is also fast-paced, but EXTREMELY fast-paced. Or, actually… I don’t know how to explain this. Just take these examples:

One night, there is a party. During this party, all of the following happens. 1. Kyle and his girlfriend have a pretty serious fight about important stuff, and they both leave each other pretty angry. 2. At the same time (this book jumps POVs like there’s no tomorrow), Gideon prances around somewhere and hallucinates or whatever and has the HUGE realization that he’s gay and completely infatuated with Kyle. 3. Kyle goes to his friends (Gideon and some other asshole) to talk about the fight he had with his girlfriend and get a pep talk from them. 4. Ruby (the girlfriend) goes and talks to HER friends and gets a pep talk from them. 5. Ruby and Kyle reunite, talk it out and be totally in looove again.

Again, all of this (unless this book is just written poorly) takes place in thirty minutes tops.

And it’s always this fast. Another example is the ending (mild spoiler warning??). Basically, there is this conflict between two characters (I’m trying to spoil as little as possible here, until I get to the spoilery section). Also, the conflict is totally stolen from an episode of Friends, just saying. Anyways. There’s the conflict, and it’s pretty major, but then it basically gets solved the same day. But for a moment the author became self-aware and realized that something like this should take time and basically wrote: ”now it has been a few days and I’m ready to forgive X”. Jesus.

These were my absolute biggest problems with the story. Now I’ll get to other ones that are spoilery. If you, despite all I’ve said, want to read this story, I’d advise you leave here. It’s been fun having you!


Okay, the next thing I want to touch on is CONVENIENCE. Like, everything in this book is so simple. I’m not saying all books need to tackle heavy subjects, or have really hard conflicts or anything. That’s essentially the point of contemporaries, right? Most of them are pretty light-hearted. But for any story to be even remotely interesting, you need to have some sort of obstacle to get through, some conflict that can’t be solved with the snap of a finger.

There is no such thing in this book.

Sure, there is this whole thing with Kyle having some sort of reading(ish) disability, but beyond ”I know I have it now and now I can fix it so it’s fine”.

There is also Ruby and the fact that she’s kinda poor, but that’s never followed up on either.

There’s also Ezra, Gideon’s brother, and the fact that he doesn’t really have anywhere to go after losing his job or whatever. That’s absolutely not followed up on.

The biggest conflict is the end one, and I already mentioned how that is solved. Basically, upon realizing that he’s in love with Kyle, Giddy-Gidd writes a list of ‘bad’ things about Kyle to get over him. Guess what happens? The list gets leaked, by Ruby, after a bunch of crap goes down. Kyle gets pissed, as one might assume, and breaks up(ish) with Giddy-Gidd.

Sidenote: in this part, there is also some attempt at ”character development”. Like, Kyle reads a bunch of lists that Gid has made about him and is like: ”Oh, making lists, that is so Gideon, always organized.” We absolutely never see that in action ever again.

Anyways. Kyle and G-diddy are fighting. And because ALL characters are absolutely pure and can’t do anything wrong, Ruby feels sooo guilty for doing one mean thing and decides to fix the situation. Because Sandy Hall loves all her characters and doesn’t let them have any flaws.

SEE WHAT I MEAN? The author hints at some conflicts that could have been interesting to read about but doesn’t ever dare to delve into them. Does she not feel competent enough or what? What is the problem? Tell me!!

Ugh. This book was terrible. But, more than that, it was completely unremarkable in almost every single way and I will forget everything about it as soon as I publish this review.

I could talk about more things, but this review is way too long already. Goodbye.


Seriously. This book was awfully stupid.
And, and, and, its main conflict was stolen right out of an episode of Friends!!!

Profile Image for ⊱ Poppy ⊰.
338 reviews302 followers
October 16, 2016
This was some Pretty cool light stuff i just read,

"Been Here All Along" was a story of two bestfriends turned boyfriends. lol

It was a merely a light short read, maybe coupla 150 or 200 pages short.

I liked the atmosphere of this book, the friendship of Gideon & Kyle made me realize that i want to have a friendship like they had.

I seriously have to change my friendship goals. TBH!!

I really liked the writing, the writer really can push off some extra drama with a class. :P

Seriously, their was alot of drama in it, that shouldn't have been but again it all made the book more warmer and high school type, maybe! :P

I liked Ruby, i don't know why many people hate her. She was a nice girl and had some dangerous impulse like a normal human being had in normal life's.

She was not Regina George form Mean Girls. No matter what you think.

I liked all the side characters and how we got everyone's POV. I would've liked Ezra & Ruby's story more, TBH.

I just loved, Gideon's family, damn they were sooooo cool. I am jealous. :/

All in all, this was a light romantic read, with some really good characters.

Recommended to all, who want to read some light stuff.
Profile Image for Dylan.
547 reviews228 followers
December 2, 2016
PSA: I wrote this in January and I don’t like this review at all, but I don’t remember enough about this book to write another review and I got this book for review from the publisher so I need to post something..my apologies.

Been Here All Along is told in four different perspectives; Gideon, Kyle, Ruby and Ezra. I loved the fact that it was told like this because it just made me feel so many things and I was also able to really get to know these characters.

My favorite character is probably Gideon. He’s snarky and nerdy and really just doesn’t give a crap about what everyone thinks and that’s a perfect character for me.
This book is very character driven which isn’t a bad thing whatsoever, but it just didn’t leave really any room for an actual plot.
If this book was another hundred or so pages longer, I feel that it would leave a lot more room for the story to grow more in depth than it already is.
I did enjoy this book overall. The characters and the romance really saved it for me, despite the lack of plot.

Starred rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received this book for review from Entangled Teen in exchange an honest review. All opinions remain my own.
Profile Image for Emilie.
135 reviews40 followers
June 5, 2017
"Pretend to be a tree, pretend to be a tree, I tell myself. Trees don't speak"

As always with Sandy Hall, this book is filled with cuteness and love. I really loved it, and I think that it’s the kind of book you can read when you’re feeling down and it immediately cheers you up.

"I don't know how to deal with the issue, so I just don't. I avoid it, ignore it, and downright fall into denial about it." (that is totally me)

The multiple point of views were really cool, and that’s really something I like with Sandy Hall’s writing. It’s light and cute and really funny. But I wanted more! I felt like I was left in the middle of the story :( These characters were so cute that I would have wanted to follow then throughout all their adventures.

(I absolutely LOVED all the references to Lord of the Rings!)
Profile Image for Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}.
475 reviews170 followers
August 15, 2016
I have been wanting to read a Sandy Hall book since I started blogging and was so excited when I got this to review. I have to say it was pretty darn cute!!

There were so many things to love in book so let me tick some of them off for you:

♥  Gideon and Kyle are awesome friends. I loved just watching them hang out and interact. When Gideon realizes he likes Kyle I was rooting for them hardcore.

♥ They are also huge nerds with Lord of the Rings and write in Elvish. I am always down for some nerdy characters.

♥  New Jersey!! Love a book set in my home state.

♥  Gideon's family is pretty damn amazing. His parents are so supportive of him when he comes out. His brother is also really there for him even though they are super different.

♥  Typical high school drama but nothing too overboard. I could kind of see most of it happening.

♥  Really quick and easy read which made it perfect for a summer night (or two.)

Honestly, it was just  a really sweet book with lots of important topics hit on. I would recommend it if you are looking for a really cute, quick read that will make you feel good.This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Profile Image for Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜.
898 reviews77 followers
February 15, 2018
I managed to finish it this time round and I liked the book. I didn’t love it but it had some good moments.

•I liked how all of the characters acted their age and weren’t adults in teenagers bodies.
•I thought the relationship between Kyle & Gideon was cute.
•y Rep: Gay MC, Bisexual MC, MC with a learning disorder.
• I related a lot to the way Gideon realizes he’s gay.
•I thought Kyle was adorable.
• Gideon grew on me. He was a little cruel at the beginning but his growth by the end of the book was good.
•I loved the relationship Gideon has with his family.
•Best-friends To lovers trope.

•Rudy & Ezra didn’t need POVs
•Rudy was a bitch. I didn’t like her and she wasn’t redeemed!!
•The ending was rushed.
•I was confused near the end because everything happened so fast.
• The plot was non existent as well as the world building. Which normally doesn’t bother me because I like character driven books but this wasn’t the best.
•It was so dramatic.

Overall not a bad book and I did like it more the second time round. It’s a quick read and I liked the whole idea- it’s a high school queer romcom -and we do need more of those. This just felt a little underdeveloped and rushed.
24 reviews
November 13, 2016
You know how sometimes you click on a fanfiction story with a captivating premise . . . then read the first chapter and realize the writer can't do it justice? Well, that was this book. So many bad tropes. Sooo many.

- Pointless POV. (Ezra. He added nothing, didn't tie in to the main story in any substantial way, and just didn't capture the reader's interest. Ninety per cent of his POV was him mooching about the house eating snacks and remarking on how hot his brother's friend's girlfriend used to be when she was a high school freshman. And he was a senior. Evidently we're supposed to find this cute instead of creepy. Well, I didn't. Get a life, Ezra.)

- Insta-love. Also, telling instead of showing. Gideon and Kyle are in love because . . . they had a meet cute when they were five, and they share a mutual love of The Lord of the Rings?

- A girlfriend whose character fluctuates wildly depending on how much of a threat the author wants her to be to the main pairing. When Gideon is pining for Kyle, Ruby is super cool and accepting of Kyle's bisexuality! The instant Kyle and Gideon share a moment? Our Rubes morphs into a harpy who all but threatens to out Gideon if he doesn't back away from her man.

- Ruby's relationship with Kyle suffers the same treatment. One minute they seem super close, the next he decides he's outgrown her, and Ruby becomes obsessed with "maintaining her image". Wut.

- And don't get me started on the transition from Ruby and Kyle as a pairing to Gideon and Kyle. I think we were supposed to think Gideon and Kyle's "moments" were cute, but all I could think of was poor Ruby, who's father had just lost his job and who had just discovered she probably couldn't even leave home for college. Ruby had real problems, and yet we were supposed to root for Gideon to steal her boyfriend? And we were supposed to think Kyle was oh-so-noble because he flew over the house the morning after he kissed Gideon and promptly dumped her? Because even with the bizarre 180 Ruby's character did later on, this just didn't fly with me.

- It says something that the bitter ex girlfriend was the most appealing character in the whole book though. Because she was the only one with real problems. Ezra : directionless and out of money after a year doing whatever the hell he wanted on his bar mitzvah dime. With his parents blessing. Gideon: A nerd who isn't particularly shaken to discover he's gay, and only wants to stay in the closet because it's the best power play he has against Ruby. Kyle: A popular athlete with a totally unspecified "learning disability", which only affects him in one class, and which everyone he meets is understanding about. Just like they're all super on board with his bisexuality and never make ignorant comments, ever. These characters are just so flat it's unbearable. What are Kyle's flaws? What is the point of Ezra? Where are the stakes?

- Seriously. A huge problem with the book is the utter lack of stakes. We're told right off the bat that Kyle is bisexual, so even though he's dating a girl when the book begins, we know she'll bite the dust eventually and he'll end up with Gideon. So where will the conflict come from, we wonder? Surely it has to be Gideon, right? Gideon will take time to come to terms with the realization that he's gay and in love with his best friend. The suspense will come from us waiting for him to grasp the obvious! Er, no. This realization only takes him one night to process and accept. Ah, we think. So the conflict comes from Kyle not wanting to leave his girlfriend? Nope! From Gideon not wanting to jeopardize their long friendship? Nope! From both of them worrying about getting into a relationship so close to college? Nope!

- The conflict ACTUALLY arises from Gideon doing something no real, living human has ever done. That's right. The author swipes a plot from Friends and has Gideon write down all the things he dislikes about Kyle on a list, to try and talk himself out of his feelings for him. An absurdly convoluted series of events leads Kyle to see the list months later, when they're all loved up, and get mortally offended. You know, I'd be less offended about the author nicking this plot line if these pop culture-savvy kids admitted they were actually living a Ross and Rachel story line. (In this fictional world, Brad Pitt exists but his ex-wife's sitcom doesn't. Go figure.) But they don't, which leads me to believe we're supposed to think this is the height of originality.

-I don't think I could close out this review without a honorary mention of the "Kyle's learning disability" plot line, by the way. This sub plot was so by-the-numbers it was actually painful to slog through. It was like an after school special. But lazier. The author didn't even bother to research any one learning impediment in particular. Is Kyle dyslexic? Who knows? We're never told. As far as I can remember, no one even says the word. It's always just referred to as "my learning disability". Which is, by the way, also annoying. Every teenager diligently uses this wording, right from the start. Nice idea, but no teenager I've ever met would do that. Let alone ALL THE TEENAGERS. But then, they had to deliver such huge chunks of expositiony, repetitive dialogue I don't blame the author for losing track of any individual character voice. Every few chapters one character would painfully accurately bring another character up to speed on what they missed - even if it meant repeating, line for line, something we the audience already knew. The learning disability subplot fell into this most frequently, which is probably why I found it the most annoying. Gupta explains things to Kyle, who has thoughts about what she says, then tells his parents what she said and what he thought. Then tells Ruby. Then tells Gideon. Then we get to see Ruby and Gideon repeat all this back to us like it's brand new information! And have the exact same, appropriately-sensitive thoughts about it! Ghh.

TLDR: Fun premise killed by flat characters and no stakes.

Profile Image for Gabriela.
976 reviews56 followers
September 20, 2021
Al comienzo estuve muy interesada, pero a medida que avanzaba en la lectura fui perdiendo las ganas.

Prometía, pero incluso el momento del drama fue demasiado simple.

En resumen, es bastante olvidable.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,450 reviews898 followers
August 7, 2016
This was my first Swoon Reads book, and overall I thought it was cute. It's the story of a bunch of people realizing different things about themselves, but mostly a love story between two guy best friends.

The positive:
A cute, quick read. Gideon and Kyle were very sweet together and I was rooting for them.

The less positive:
I had some overall issues with the writing style and narrative choices. First off, I'm skeptical of the need for too many (first person) POVs in a story and I don't think Kyle's girlfriend's POV and Gideon's brother's were necessary, just cluttered up the story. There was something about the story that seemed a little too simple and too inevitable -- there was little suspense and very few surprises. Everyone was going through stuff, but everyone was also super-supportive of each other, which doesn't seem realistic and also seemed like a huge missed opportunity for conflict.

The characters all seemed very similar to me in voice and personality. Many of them would use the same phrasing and terminology. (For example, several characters called girls "chicks." That could seem ironic if just one character did it, but when many used the word it just seemed outdated.)

Overall, I just wanted everything about the storytelling to be a little bit sharper, richer, and more impactful.

But those critiques aside, this is a quick, cute read for those in the mood for a sweet LGBT romance.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a free advance copy of this book for me to review.

Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

Profile Image for Ben Howard.
884 reviews98 followers
September 11, 2022
Ah yes, I love it when the girlfriend of your best friend finds out that you're gay and into her boyfriend, so she decides to hold it over your head and basically blackmail you because she feels threatened. But it's ok because at the end she helps reunite the two of you; after you both fall out due to something she caused. And then she starts dating your brother. Love when that happens. 🙃

Profile Image for Morgan (The Bookish Beagle).
725 reviews160 followers
September 18, 2016
I seriously considered DNFing this but decided to push through and just finish it. I was so disappointed in this book because it had the potential to be seriously amazing and really cute in the hands of a better writer. It was way too short to have 4 POVs and everything happened so fast with very little transition. The writing was just awkward, especially the dialogue! It made me cringe a lot. I appreciated the diversity of the book (Jewish gay MC, bisexual MC, both male) but that's about all it had going on. I didn't feel any of the tension or banter that I love in my romance contemps, aside from one scene. And I hated Ruby. She was really horrible for 95% of the book. This premise is my dream premise, an m/m Taylor Swift video come to life, but it paled in execution. So sad :(
Profile Image for OonaReads.
517 reviews165 followers
February 28, 2018
I don't know how to deal with the issue, so I just don't. I avoid it, I ignore it, and downright fall into denial about it

This was just a cuteness overload:
- best friends to lovers, which is one of my fave tropes
- Nerds in love. Like so many pop culture references, my fave was obviously parks and rec/Leslie Knope reference.
-Ezra and Gideon banter
- Supportive families ftw
- bi guy with a learning disability and a jewish gay guy
- so much sappy shit, with basically no angst
- super short, like I read this in one sitting

I only had two issues with this book. The first one was that the book ended so suddenly. Like bam, it was over. And secondly, we didn't get any conclusion on Ezra or Ruby. But overall just a cuteness all around.
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